November 27, 2014

Korean Stuffed Chicken with Fresh Ginseng Soup (SamGyeTang)

This soup reminds me of the wonderful visit I made to South Korea a few years ago. Our friends took us to a different restaurant each day. One of my favorites was this quaint restaurant, where we all sat down on the wooden floor around a low table. We were served with a variety of colorful dishes, piping hot ginseng soup and Makgeolli, a milky colored rice wine. I love the sweet taste of this wine, and I am quite smitten by it's unique taste and flavor. It reminds me of Chinese rice wine, that my mother used to make in Malaysia.
Ginseng is a popular health food in Korea, and the Koreans eat ginseng and other herbs to recuperate strength and for youthful complexion. Ginseng has been used as medicine for thousand of years both in China and Korea, and Korea is one of the largest producer of ginseng.
I bought some fresh ginseng roots in a Korean supermarket to make this nutritious soup. This soup calls for young chicken, preferably 100-day old hens. You can also use black silky chicken, or raise your own pullets. I used Cornish game hens for this recipe. Enjoy!

January 18, 2014

Kuih Bangkit

Kuih Bangkit is an all time favorite during the Chinese New Year celebration. It is a traditional Nyonya cookie that melts away in your mouth. This recipe is adapted from Nyonya Flavors.

Osmanthus Flower Cookie

Osmanthus is little white flower with a lovely and delicate fragrance. I bought some dried Osmanthus flowers while I was on vacation in Kunming last year from a street vendor. The fragrance is just heavenly! I stumbled upon this recipe online and thought I'd shared it here.

Salted Egg Cookies

Don't let the name of this cookie discourage from making it. If you like the taste of salted egg, you might like this savory cookie. It is actually quite delicious!

August 4, 2012

Osmanthus Blossoms Jelly/Guì Huā Gāo (桂花糕)

On my recent tour to Kunming in China, one of the excursions was a visit to an ancient home that once belonged to a famous Chinese general. The main house was located in a courtyard surrounded by beautiful gardens of sweeping willows and water lilies.
Along the perimeter of the gardens were rows of medium height trees with small clusters of yellow and white fragrant Osmanthus Fragrans blossoms. The blossoms have a heady fragrance that is sweet and fruity, it reminds me of sun ripened apricots and peaches--intense and intoxicating, yet not overwhelming. In the afternoon a cool gentle breeze swept through the entire courtyard bringing forth the scent of joy and natural sweetness. It was a delightful experience to be in the midst of it all, as it brings to mind nostalgia of bittersweet and its sentiment.
Osmanthus Blossoms

May 27, 2012

Soy Bean Pudding/Dau Fu Fah

Douhua 豆花, dòuhuā, or doufuhua 豆腐花 in Chinese literary translates to soybean flower. It is dessert made by cooking soybean milk with calcium sulfate (gypsum) as a coagulant. This popular dessert is found  in most dim sum restaurant. The texture of this wonderful dessert is smooth and silky and delicious when served in a warm sugar syrup. A Japanese friend told me that she used to make all her tofu with nigari, another type of coagulant that is commonly used in Japan. Nigari is magnesium sulphate made by evaporating sea water and can be found in some health food stores. For this post, I'd used gelatin, however, you can also substitute with agar agar powder.

May 18, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash with Quinoa and Beet Salad

This summer,we have been eating a lot of salad lately. Perhaps it's my excuse for being tired after the long drive home from work. I am glad that John is not a picky eater and he enjoyed most of what I cooked. This is mostly how it goes the minute I got home from work: feed the cat, check on the chicken for eggs, picked some greens or whatever is available from the garden. Then it's back to the kitchen to whip up something simple for dinner. Here's one of my version of a summer salad using leftovers from the fridge.